DEATH BLADE

Slash, dash, and shoot your way through randomly generated floors of a heavily guarded tower and upgrade your player character into different builds on the way.

Occasion:  Game Project 2

Engine:  Unity

Project Time:  9 weeks 

Team:  5 Designers, 10 Artists, 3 Programmers

Contribution: Game Design (enemiy behavior and player upgrades), UI Design and UI Art

ABOUT THE GAME

Death Blade is a 1rst-person melee roguelike in which the player fights their way through randomly generated floors, defeats increasing numbers of enemies and enemy elites, and chooses from randomized upgrades at the end of each floor.

 

ENEMY BEHAVIOR

In general, the enemies are divided into two different types - melee and ranged - which have their own behavioral patterns:

Melee enemies are marked by black clothing. They will run towards the player and attack the player with a baseball bat in close combat. Also, their frequency of attack is high while having a low damage input, so they become more dangerous in groups.

Ranged enemies are marked by white clothing. Contrary to their melee counterparts they will move away and try to keep a distance from the player. They fire a projectile towards the player’s current position, therefore forcing the player to stay in movement. While their projectile attacks cause more damage than their melee counterparts the attack rate of a ranged enemy is slower.

ELITE VARIANTS

On top of the normal Yakuza footmen who only show this kind of strategy, there are different types of elite enemies (so-called variants) who display a specific moveset on top of this behavior. Like the regular enemies, those variants exist as both melee and ranged types.

Variants from left to right: the Specter, the Firestarter and the Hacker.

 

PLAYER UPGRADES

While the rooms of the level floor are randomly generated each floor will have two lobbies, one where the player starts from and the other as each floor’s destination point to reach the next level. Each time the player enters the elevator that is found in the lobby they will be shown the upgrade menu where they can select either an Augmentation (each uneven floor) or a Status Upgrade (each uneven floor). Normally, the player can choose between two randomly selected options, however, if they managed to kill more than 95% of enemies on the corresponding floor, they will be rewarded with a third option to pick from.

Augmentations:

Augmentations will empower the player’s skillset (e.g. dash, melee attacks, or the ranged projectile) and can be selected in the elevator of floors 1, 3, and 5, meaning that the player can have three Augmentations in total. 

Overall, there are nine different Augmentations:

Status Upgrades:

Compared to an Augmentation a Status Upgrade does not introduce a new mechanic but increases the player’s values in certain fields:

Strength

Increases the player's attack damage

Dexterity

Increases the player's attack speed

Endurance

Increases the player's energy and reduces cost of projectile attack.

 
 

MENU UI

Upgrade Screen:

If the player enters the elevator in the second lobby they will be shown the Upgrade Screen which consists of three cards with randomized Augmentations or Status Upgrades. Each card consists of an icon, the upgrade title, and a brief description of what the upgrade does. A light-blue highlight shows which of the cards is currently selected while the unlockable third choice is hidden behind a half-transparent grey box if the player didn’t kill enough enemies.

Status Screen:

The part of the Status Screen that shows the player’s current Augmentations looks like a smaller version of the Upgrade Screen. Additionally, a box left to the Augmentation part shows the player’s Status Upgrades (Strength, Dexterity, Endurance) as a dotted scale. As mentioned before, the three different values are color-coded and correspond to the colors of the icons. A box below the Augmentations further informs the player about the floor they are currently on and how many enemies they still have to kill in order to unlock the third upgrade choice.